Jackson County honored as an active community

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Bike trails, hiking, state of the art facilities, those are just a few ways to get active in Jackson County.

"We are an active community not only for our residents, but for visitors. We have tons of outdoor recreation here in our area and I think that people that come here to our area, and also the ones that live in our area, find benefit in having all the different opportunities here," said Black River Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Amanda Gunn.

This month, the county was recognized by Wisconsin Active Together, as one of 14 active communities in the state.

Through the efforts of the Jackson in Action coalition, the county got the designation for the first time.

Jackson in Action was created in 2012 thanks to a grant, and has grown leaps and bounds within the county over the past seven years.

"Not too many years ago we were thought of as one of the poorest communities as far as county health rankings in Wisconsin," said Jackson in Action Leadership Team Member Dawn Jacobson. "So to be able to put a lot of different programs in place over the last few years and to be able to recognize the fact that we are doing a lot to promote physical activity really is a big accomplishment for us."

Wisconsin Active Together honors communities across the state for their efforts to promote active lifestyles.

"What we're trying to create is to help our community grow. And in order for people to make the decision to come here some of the most important factors are education, healthcare and a big portion is recreation," said Black River Falls Mayor Jay Eddy.

Additions like the Lunda Community Center and the creation of Jackson in Action have catapulted Jackson County to a model health community.

"We just want to continue to expand the opportunities and get more people involved. We have our kind of core group of fitness people who take part in a lot of our events, but we try and make all of our events very accessible to everyone," said Jacobson.

Jackson County will be known as a Wisconsin Active Together community for three years, then the county will have to apply for the designation again.